Book Review: We are Okay by Nina LaCour




Dark, thoughtful, bittersweet, nostalgic, quick


The worst summer before college turns into an isolating Freshman existence

Best Elements: 

  1. Literary References: Kids these days are apparently super well-read and quote Emerson and Jane Eyre. I debated if this was a good or a bad element truthfully. Sometimes that type of thing feels odd. But, in the context of the book, LaCour‘s literary references help you place the characters as the thoughtful nerds. (Also, I was reminded of how often my friends and I quoted Pynchon and Shakespeare. Once a nerd, always a nerd.)
  2. Believable Characters: Other than the lit reference thing, LaCour draws main characters that are believable. The main character is a young woman with only her grandfather as family. Her mother was a surfer who was taken by the sea. Most of the book is interior thoughts, with little atmospheric description, so you are dropped directly into her feelings.
  3. Messy Love: Heady is the word I would use to refer to the central love story. I don’t want to give too much away, but this book shares the challenges of young love so well.
  4. Undefined Sexuality: This book deals with characters who are not defining their sexuality but don’t fit into heterosexuality or homosexuality.
  5. Hopeful: “We are okay” is a phrase that summarizes the denouement fairly well. This is a book about becoming okay, not becoming great.

Worst Elements: 

  1. NONE

LaCour has created a fast, thoughtful read. There is not a word extra in this tight text. The sentence construction sings throughout. Super strong book.

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